10 days ago, Google officially announced Android 2.3 and the Nexus S. Now, the device is finally available. You can get it from Best Buy and Best Buy Mobile stores across the US and online. The phone is sold unlocked for $530 without a service plan or for $200 with a T-Mobile service plan. For those in the UK it will be available at Carphone Warehouse and Best Buy retailers on December 20.
The Nexus S is the first device to ship with Android 2.3. Google and Samsung developed the product together to highlight the latest advancements of the Android platform. As the Nexus One before it, the Nexus S delivers a "pure Google" experience: an unlocked device that is the first to get the latest updates to Google's mobile services and Android releases. The Nexus S features a 4" Contour Display, a 1GHz Hummingbird processor, front and rear facing cameras, 16GB of internal memory, and NFC hardware that lets you read information from NFC tags on objects like movie posters, stickers, and t-shirts.
The timing of the release makes us wonder if Google's hardware strategy is flawed. With the Nexus One, only T-Mobile agreed to subsidize the phone; the search giant failed to convince major carriers AT&T and Verizon. Users not on T-Mobile could only get the phone by paying $500 for an unlocked version of the device, so the phone didn't sell well, and the Nexus One was discontinued.
The Nexus S seems to be following in the same footsteps: only T-Mobile seems to be onboard. Furthermore, December is a poor month to launch a smartphone because other Android phones are already having their prices slashed and more powerful devices are already being announced or will be at next month's Consumer Electronics Show. The Nexus S will be squeezed from both sides: price and performance.